In this post, I would like to share with you a list of my 15 best inspirational movies that teach us to never give up.

Please bear in mind that this list is very subjective, as all similar lists are. There are thousands of movies that I have yet to see. But this list, nevertheless, holds some of the best movies that I love and watch from time to time.

1. The Shawshank Redemption

The Shawshank Redemption

The first best inspirational movie on the list is The Shawshank Redemption. This movie is an all-time classic, and it tells us about the story of a banker – Andy Dufresne. Andy gets accused of something he didn’t do, and thus has to serve a life sentence in prison.

As you can probably guess, life in prison is not easy, especially when you are innocent. Most people would be crushed by this kind of fate, but not Andy. Andy decides to not give up and do whatever he can to prove his innocence. And if he can’t succeed with that, then he will find a way out of the prison.

I have seen this movie at least five times, and cannot recommend it enough to people of all ages.

2. Into the Wild

Into the wild

Into the Wild is a really beautiful movie. It’s about a young man, Christopher McCandless, that gets fed up with the life that others expect him to live. He doesn’t want to anymore take part in education, work, and material belongings do not interest him. Instead, he just wants to be able to do whatever he wishes. He wants to be totally free.

McCandless burns his money, and goes on a long journey to Alaska, seeing places and meeting people. His life becomes tough, but he loves it nevertheless; he is free at last.

The movie is not a comedy, nor does it have a typical happy ending, but it’s definitely one of the best that I have ever seen. It’s a true story with real-life problems, and that’s what makes it so great. On many occasions, it teaches us to never give up on our dreams.

3. A Beautiful Mind

A Beautiful Mind

The third best inspirational movie is “A Beautiful Mind”, which is a movie about the life of John Nash, a Nobel Laureate in Economics.

In this movie, we get to see the life of John Nash, who was a brilliant science student with incredible mental capabilities. However, as he grows up, he begins to unknowingly suffer from paranoid schizophrenia. The sickness slowly takes over him, and he begins to act in ways that are dangerous for both, himself and the people around, including his family.

The plot in this movie is truly breathtaking. It’s the story of a gifted scientist trying to battle his disorder, with and without medical help. And regardless of how difficult it becomes for John Nash at the moment, he was strong enough to never give up on himself. This story teaches us to be strong, even when life is incredibly tough.

4. Whiplash


Whiplash is the fourth best inspirational movie. I’ve seen it twice, and I love it.

It’s a story of a boy named Andrew Neiman, who is a first-year jazz student at the prestigious Shaffer Conservatory in New York. The whole movie is about Andrew’s passions towards playing the drums, and how he tries to please a really famous conductor called Terence Fletcher. Fletcher, on the other hand, cannot be described in any way, other than a “hardcore badass”, in my opinion.

Nonetheless, Andrew does everything to prove his skills to Fletcher. He plays with blisters, bleeding hands, right after a car crash, and he even sacrifices his relationship for the sake of playing drums. An amazing story of how one should never give up on their passion. If you want it bad enough, you’ll find ways to make it happen.

5. Cast Away

Cast Away

The fifth best inspirational movie is called Cast Away. In this movie, we get to see a man thrown onto an uninhabited island, from which it seems as if there is no way out. But the movie wouldn’t be on this list if it wouldn’t have such powerful story.

Chuck Noland, a FedEx employee, throughout the movie shows what it means to be resourceful. Despite being completely alone on an island, he finds sources of food, water, shelter, and even ways to heal himself. Only by being strong and doing whatever it takes to survive, he was rewarded by being able to find his way out of the island.

6. The Theory of Everything

The Theory of Everything

The Theory of Everything is a movie about the life of Stephen Hawking, a scientist that we all know.

Unfortunately, at a young age, Stephen was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease, which is known to cause the death of neurons that control muscles. Eventually, even the most basic processes, such as breathing, become very difficult. Due to this disease, Stephen was told that he would have only a couple of years to live.

Despite the horrifying diagnosis, Stephen never gave up. He continued his scientific work, became world famous for numerous theories, was awarded many different prizes, and continues to study the universe today. A truly inspirational story.

7. Happy Gilmore

Happy Gilmore

Many people will be surprised that this movie made it to this list. But, despite being a silly and somewhat violent comedy, it’s a truly inspirational story of a young man doing whatever it takes to make his grandma happy. It just shows how far love towards our family combined with hard work and dedication, can take us.

Happy Gilmore may not be for everyone, but it nevertheless shows how to never give up, no less than any other movie on this list of best inspirational movies. If you love to laugh, then I highly recommend this movie.

8. What Dreams May Come

What Dreams May Come

In the movie What Dreams May Come, we see how much love is capable of accomplishing. Even after death, love is what motivates us to never give up.

Watch this movie to see a man literally go through heaven and hell to save the woman of his life. It’s a wonderful story that I have watched at least four times. This movie is not only well filmed, but it also has a very deep story with much to take away. The idea that we should never give up is one of them.

9. The Truman Show

The Truman Show

I am sure that anyone who saw The Truman Show at a very young age has probably thought to themselves, “is it possible that I am being watched 24/7 as well?”

What’s great about this movie is that although it is taken to an extreme, it is something that we all can imagine being true. In the movie, Truman Burbank lives a life of a normal human being, except not really. He is actually the main character of a TV show that everyone loves. He has been watched since birth.

Once Truman realizes that there is something odd about his life, he begins to investigate. His life’s purpose then becomes to find the truth behind what he has always considered as reality.

This movie is another great example of what it means to never give up.

10. Slumdog Millionaire

Slumdog Millionaire

Slumdog Millionaire, a story of how an Indian boy has come to the show, “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?”.

As Jamal, the main character of the movie, answers questions on the TV show correctly, he is accused of cheating. Police are involved, and he is tortured. It’s hard to believe that a slumdog can really be intelligent enough to know all of the answers.

Nevertheless, Jamal explains that his difficult life experiences have given him the answers. The movie then shows those exact moments of his life and how these answers had come to him. And although it seems like an impossible coincidence, he is allowed to continue playing the game.

This movie is also a great inspiration and a story of how to not give up. It shows Jamal’s difficult life in India, but also his persistence on the TV show itself.

11. The Lion King

The Lion King

The Lion King, the film of my childhood. This movie combines in itself drama and comedy, love and hate. It’s a story of how a small lion Simba is born to a family of the king lion, Mufasa.

As Simba grows, he experiences love and pride from the side of his family and all those that honor him, but he also witnesses jealousy, evil, betrayal and death of his father.

After his father leaves him, Simba is saved by Timon and Pumbaa, a meerkat and warthog. They teach him how to survive, how to be happy and what friendship is really for. Simba then returns to regain back his kingdom. An amazing story that every child and grownup must see.

12. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

the Diving Bell and the Butterfly

The twelfth best inspirational movie is a true story about the life of Jean-Dominique Bauby, a French actor, author and editor of a French fashion magazine.

In this movie, we witness how Bauby suffers from a stroke, leaving him completely paralyzed. While his mind still fully functions, the only thing that he can physically do is to blink.

Nevertheless, despite the paralysis, with the help of a transcriber, a book was created by Bauby. The transcriber would call out loud letters of the alphabet, and when the correct letter was called, Bauby would blink, signifying the letter to be used. The book, just like this movie, was called The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. It then became a number one bestseller across Europe.

13. Unbroken


The thirteenth best inspirational movie is called Unbroken.

Unbroken is another true story about a man called Louis Zamperini. Zamperini, also known as the “The Torrance Tornado”, was an accomplished distance runner. At the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, Germany, Zamperini had finished 8th in the 5000-meter distance running event.

The movie shows Zampirini as both, a young motivated man training for the Olympics, and as a prisoner of war caught by the Japanese. Because he is now imprisoned, he is beaten, mocked, humiliated and is near to death on a few occasions. But despite all of the suffering, he makes it through.

Unbroken very well shows what Zamperini and other people are capable of, even in the worst of conditions. Because Zamperini never gave up, he was able to live until the age of 97.

14. Avatar


Avatar is fourteenth in the list of best inspirational movies.

Apart from Avatar being a beautiful love story between creatures literally from different planets, it also teaches us how to go beyond ourselves and our egotistical motives. If you have a goal that you need to complete, then you have no option other than to keep fighting for it.

What I loved about Avatar the most, is that while it shows the worst of the human qualities, it also shows all the good that we are capable of.

15. Apocalypto


The last but not least best inspirational movie is called Apocalypto.

I really enjoyed Apocalypto because it’s quite different from most other movies. The plot occurs somewhere around the year 1511 in the pre-Columbian Yucatan and Guatemala. There, in the rainforest, you see a tribe living happily together. They eat, talk, have sex and joke around. But unfortunately, soon they get attacked by another tribe. All of the huts get burned, men and women get killed, and those that don’t, are taken as captives.

Jaguar Paw, one of the captives and the main character of the movie, is taken to the land from which the attackers had come from. Jaguar Paw knows that he left behind his pregnant wife and their young son, both of whom were able to run away and hide during the attack. For the rest of the movie, Jaguar Paw’s only wish is to return back to his family and to save them. Without him, they won’t be able to survive for long.

Apocalypto is the type of movie that has a lot of action, which makes it a great choice for a family evening. However, the best part about it, which is also the topic of this post, is the fact that the movie is very inspirational and that it teaches us to never give up. It shows how important family is, and how much love and responsibility one can experience towards their dearest ones.

As I said in the beginning, there are so many other good movies that I know I have missed. So please don’t bash me for not having your favorite inspirational movie here on the list. Instead, please share the name of the movie(s) in the comment section below, so that other blog visitors can see it as well. Let’s make the most complete list of best inspirational movies ever! I would appreciate your input very much. 🙂

Thank you for stopping by and good luck!

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15 Best Inspirational Movies That Teach to Never Give Up
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